Skip to main content

Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

See other formats


I46                         BYZANTINE CHURCHES                      CHAP.
Byzantine Governments which was always glad to receive refugees whom it could use either to gratify or to embarrass the Ottoman Court, as the varying relations between the two empires might dictate. It was a policy that proved fatal at last, but meanwhile it often afforded some advantage to Byzantine diplomats. On this occasion it was thought advisable to please the Sultan3 and while the pretender was confined elsewheres Zinet, with a suite of ten persons, was detained in the Pammakaristos. Upon the accession of Murad II., however3 the Government of Constantinople thought proper to take the opposite course. Accordingly the pretender was liberated, and Zinet sent to support the Turkish party which disputed Murad's claims. But life at the Pammakaristos had not won the refugee's heart to the cause of the Byzantines. The fanatical monks with whom he was associated there had insulted his faith; his Greek companions in arms did not afford him all the satisfaction he desired, and so Zinet returned at last to his natural allegiance. The conduct of the Byzantine Government on this occasion led to the first siege of Constantinople3 in 1422^ by the Turks.
The most important event in the history of the monastery occurred after the city had fallen into Turkish hands. The church then became the cathedral of the patriarchs of Constantinople. It is true that, in the first instance, the conqueror had given the church of the Holy Apostles to the Patriarch Gennadius as a substitute for the church of S. Sophia. But the native population did not affect the central quarters of the city, preferring to reside near the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmora. Furthermore, the body of a murdered Turk was discovered one morning in the court of the Holy Apostles, and excited among his countrymen the suspicion that the murder had been committed by a Christian hand.1 The few Greeks settled in the neighbourhood were therefore in danger of retaliation, and Gennadius begged permission to withdraw to the Pammakaristos, around which a large colony of Greeks, who came from other cities to repeople the capital, had settled.2
1 Ducas, pp. 117-21, 134, 139-42, 148-52, 176,         2 Historic politica, p. 16.